Product photography

Product photography is an essential part of every online store. Good product images let you attract and retain visitors. So, what are the key elements you need to be aware of? And how can image editing services help you with product photography in your ecommerce business?


High-quality product photos not only give your online store a professional look, but it can also increase your conversion and customer satisfaction score. It is not without reason there is a saying that says “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Some think photos are more important than text

Product photography in ecommerceThere are studies that show that website visitors value product shots and videos better than product descriptions while they are browsing ecommerce websites. Of course, the importance of a product photo depends on the goods you are selling. Images of ink cartridges are less important than photos of shoes or jewelry. But the bottom line is that you should invest in a proper product image. They can be a key deciding factor for your customers and increase your sales.

For a new set of ink cartridges product photography is less important than for a pair of shoes.

Your pictures are a marketing tool

You should look at product photography as one of the marketing tools you use to boost your conversion, to retain visitors and to decrease the number of online shoppers abandoning their shopping cart. Surprisingly, most online stores don’t use proper product shots.

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Here’s why goods product photos are important:

  • Compelling product photos give consumers a good impression of what they can expect, which is especially important in ecommerce;
  • They grab the attention and lead the visitor’s eyes to your product;
  • Product images can increase the trustworthiness of your ecommerce website, especially when you use professional-looking photos

Using your manufacturer’s pictures

Many (new) online stores make use of the photos of products sent by the manufacturer or distributor of the item. There is nothing wrong with this. It is cheap and you can assume that the photos sent by the manufacturer or distributor are accurate, relevant, and of decent quality.

With your own shots, your website is more unique

If you have the budget, invest in shooting your own photos! There are many other online stores that are selling the same items. Chances are that you are all using the same photos from your manufacturer. With your own photographs, your website is unique.
creative product photography by yourself

Shooting your own images

If you do not have the budget to hire a professional photographer, you could also shoot these photos yourself. Nowadays, even mobile phone cameras can take high quality photos. But of course, you can also use a more professional camera. Take pictures in a room with a lot of natural light, or use a light ring. That way, your picture will have enough natural lighting.

Do not forget to take close-ups of your products.

professional product photography with artificial lightIn addition to taking product only images, remember to also include a close-up picture. That way, your customers will get an idea of the details of your items.

After shooting photographs, you could use websites or apps that help you with editing. That way, you can optimize the background, lighting, shadow or even add watermarks.

Use several kinds of pictures

You can showcase your goods in different kinds of photos. Online stores often show their products from different angles, but also include a ‘lifestyle photo’. Think, for example, about Ikea, showcasing their furniture in a photo of a decorated room. Or a clothing store that shows a model wearing the product.

Use lifestyle shots in your ecommerce business.

Some online stores even include user generated content. You could ask customers to upload photographs of themselves wearing or using your items to Instagram, and then tag you. If you then share these pictures on your website, potential customers will get a better idea of what the product looks like in day to day life.

Unique pictures for other channels

high quality images with natural lightAfter creating your images, you can upload them in your ecommerce software to your website. But product photography is not only important in your website, but also on all other channels that you use.

If you’re thinking about selling on Instagram, you should make unique product posts for that channel. Moreover, lifestyle photos make great content for social media channels.

What do studies say about product photography?

A 2014 study on the impact of product photos on online consumer purchase intention shows that a visual presentation of a product does influence the consumer’s purchase intention. “In general, consumers prefer images of items with a larger key object, lower entropy on key objects, a warmer color, a higher contrast, a higher depth-of-field, and more social presence. Such findings can be used in practice to direct the product presentations in ecommerce websites.”

Demonstrating the use of a product is very important.

And a study by CXL shows that for experience-driven products (like T-shirts) smaller images produce more attention, while for spec-driven products (like a hard drive) larger images resulted in more visual attention. The findings of another study on the effect of a product photo on purchase intention indicate that demonstrating the usage of a product is as crucial as depicting the product itself.

high quality product photography on your own without artificial light and without a photo studio

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the frequently asked questions about product photography. And their answers of course.

What's important when taking photos for fashion items?

A detailed photo better shows what a product is made of.
A detailed photo shows customers what a product is made of.

For fashion items such as dresses, T-shirts, pants, shoes, and jewelry, two things are important.

First, you need to show what an item looks like when it’s worn. If you can afford it, use several models with different skin tones, sizes, and sex to showcase your products. The better the customer feels represented by the model, the higher the chance the item will fit and suit the customer.

Add photographs that show details such as fabric.

Second, you need to focus on details. If you sell a T-shirt, you can use product photography in which the whole shirt is shown, but you should also add some images where you focus on details such as fabric and print.

What's important when taking photos for electrical and electronic items?

Don't forget to show the back of the smartphone!
Don’t forget to show the back of the smartphone!

For electrical and electronic items, such as smartphones, game consoles, and TV sets, it’s important to show multiple angles and views.

Take smartphones for example. More often than not they are more than just a handy device; they are almost fulltime fashion accessories. Customers care about the phone case, buttons, smooth corners, and the quality of the glass. So, show these in your product photos. The better you inform your visitors, the higher the chance is they will buy their desired products.

Informed customers are more likely to place orders.

Looking for an online photo editing service? Pay as you go with Ymage. You can outsource your photos for less than €1 per image! Start your free trial today.